TN 2 (01-03)

GN 01727.210 Developing Evidence in Claims for Portuguese Benefits

A. Introduction

The following subsections show the types of evidence that may be used to support claims for Portuguese benefits.

B. Policy General

Under the agreement with Portugal, SSA will take applications for both regular and Totalization benefits on behalf of Portugal and provide limited assistance in obtaining evidence needed to support the claim.

C. Policy using evidence submitted in claim for U.S. benefits

Evidence that is used to establish a factor of entitlement for U.S. Social Security benefits may also be used by Portugal to establish the same factor for Portuguese benefits. Consequently, it is unnecessary for the applicant to submit additional evidence to document a factor of entitlement for Portuguese benefits when that factor has already been verified for SSA purposes.

D. Policy entitlement factors

The following indicates what factors of entitlement, in addition to insured status, must be established in claims for Portuguese benefits.

1. Retirement Claims

The entitlement factors that must be established for Portuguese retirement claims are:

  1. Workers date of birth

  2. Date of marriage, if a spouses supplement is claimed

  3. Type of covered work in the United States (if a benefit is claimed under one of the occupational systems see GN 01727.010).

2. Survivors Claims

The entitlement factors that must be established for Portuguese survivors claims are:

  1. Date of death of worker

  2. Date of birth of applicant

  3. Date of marriage (if spouse applying)

  4. Date of divorce, if applicable

  5. Type of covered work in the United States (if a benefit is claimed under one of the occupational systems see GN 01727.010).

3. Disability Claims

The entitlement factors that must be established for Portuguese disability claims are:

  1. Workers date of birth

  2. Degree of disability and cause of impairment (medical evidence)

  3. Type of covered work in the United States (if a benefit is claimed under one of the occupational systems see GN 01727.010).

E. Procedure general

Take the following actions when developing evidence to support claims for Portuguese benefits.

1. Accepting Evidence

Accept any evidence the applicant wishes to submit. If the applicant does not want to release an original document, photocopy the evidence and certify the copy.

Applicants filing for benefits from one of the special occupational systems in Portugal will need to establish the type of work the number holder (NH) performed in the United States. If the applicant asks for guidance, suggest that he or she get a statement from the NHs employer or union, if the employer is out of business, showing the type of occupation and the dates of employment in that occupation.

Caution: Do not hold claims for Portuguese benefits for prolonged periods pending receipt of evidence. If an applicant is unable to obtain needed evidence within a reasonable time, transmit the claim to the Office of International Operations (OIO) without the evidence. Advise the applicant that the responsible Portuguese agency will contact him or her directly to obtain any evidence it needs.

2. Types of Evidence

If the applicant requests guidance on the type of evidence to submit, see:

  1. Proof of age in GN 00302.000

  2. Proof of death in GN 00304.000

  3. Proof of marriage and divorce in GN 00305.000

  4. Proof of type of covered work in the U.S., (see GN 01727.210E.1.).

3. Document the File

Document the file to show when a factor of entitlement for a Portuguese benefit has already been verified for a U.S. claim.

a. Concurrent Title II/Portuguese Claim

Send a certified photocopy of the relevant evidence with the Portuguese claim to OIO if the concurrent TitleII claim will be sent to a program service center (PSC) other than OIO.

b. Prior Title II Claim

Include a master beneficiary record (MBR) printout in the claims file sent to OIO to show which factors, other than disability, have been verified in a prior file.

4. Obtain Record of the NH's U.S. Coverage

Obtain a record of the NH's U.S. coverage in all claims for Portuguese benefits. When the applicant is filing for both U.S. and Portuguese benefits, completion of the modernized claims system (MCS) screens will automatically generate a sepa